Backnang City Library: Children can help shape the future of the library – News

The head of the cultural office, Johannes Ellrott, helped push the project forward. Photo: Frank Eppler

What do children and young people want from a library? In Backnang, young people can now help shape the reorganization of the city library. Read here how it should work.

Gone are the days when libraries were primarily a place for the smell of dusty paper and, most importantly, of silence. “Libraries have become an important third place,” says Marion Busch, manager of the Backnang public library. After home and work or school, the quality of stay is also important for people in these facilities. There is free WiFi in the library, regular game nights and PC workstations.

But it doesn’t have to stop there. The municipality is currently considering what the library might look like in the near to medium future. And a very special vote will be given to children and young people from Backnang and the surrounding area. Volunteers from Backnang and the surrounding area who would like to contribute their ideas are now being sought for the project “My, your, our city library – children design their dream library”.

The Backnang library must become more attractive to young people

It should not be done in dry discussion rounds or through surveys, but rather very creatively in two different workshops. First, Berlin radio game and podcast maker Klaus Adam comes to Backnang and produces a podcast with children aged eight and over about how they imagine their dream library. The results of this workshop must then be brought closer to the library’s visitors, but also to the town hall team and the municipal council as part of a sound installation.

The second workshop takes place at the beginning of August in collaboration with the youth art school, here children from the age of seven can paint, model or make handicrafts in the library according to their wishes. “The results will then be exhibited in the city’s library,” explains Nadja Pidan, manager of the Backnang art school for young people. There are no limits for the children in all of this: They can express their wishes for the library’s equipment as well as suggestions for the assortment, for remodeling measures or for furnishings and fixtures.

For Backnanger’s mayor Maximilian Friedrich, the new concept for the city library is also a matter of participation. “20 percent of households cannot even afford a week’s vacation. That makes it all the more important to offer suitable alternatives such as swimming pools or sports infrastructure,” says Friedrich. Or modernly designed libraries. Especially since the Backnang library not only attracts people from Backnang itself, but also from the whole area.

Johannes Ellrott also made a significant contribution to the realization of the project. The 34-year-old, who previously worked as head of culture for the city of Kornwestheim, has been at the head of Backnang’s culture and sports office for two years. As a trained “Children and Culture Coordinator”, he was able to raise funds from the Stiftung Kinderland Baden-Württemberg for the entire project cost of 10,000 euros. He emphasizes that the city and the other responsible parties want to dictate as little as possible to the participants: “The most interesting thing is what the children want and where we should move to,” says Johannes Ellrott.

Workshops for children

The one-day first workshop with podcast maker Klaus Adam takes place on three dates. On 11 and 12 August from 9.30 to 12.30, children from the age of eight can come along themselves. On 12 August from 2.30pm to 5.30pm, children and young people aged 10 and over are invited.

creative workshop
The second workshop with art lecturer Lilia Baumann lasts two days and takes place on 2 and 3 August from 1.30pm to 5.00pm. Children aged seven and over can participate.

A registration
at the workshops is still possible until July 29 at the Backnang public library – by sending an e-mail to or by phone on 0 71 91 / 89 44 93. The number of places is limited.

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